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If you need help setting up Turnitin within your Canvas course, you may call CIDI directly at 435.797.9506, email us at, or set up an appointment with an instructional designer.

Turnitin: Plagiarism Detection

Turnitin is a software program that helps you identify potential instances of plagiarism. It does this by matching text from a student assignment to a database of outside sources. You can enable Turnitin in Canvas in one of two ways: using Canvas's built-in "checkbox" integration when setting up an assignment (most common) or adding Turnitin as an external tool. 

Checkbox vs. External Tool Integrations

If an instructor simply wants to run originality checks on student assignments, the easiest, most common integration method to use is the checkbox method. However, additional Turnitin functionality (such as automated grammar checking and advanced peer review) can be enabled when Turnitin is added as an *external tool assignment.  

 Click here for a side-by-side comparison of the checkbox vs. external tool integration.


* An external tool launches an application that isn't part of Canvas (like Turnitin) directly within the Canvas environment so that students interact with the outside application as though it were built into Canvas itself. Some external tools, like the Turnitin tool, can also pass grade information directly into the Canvas gradebook.

Setting up Turnitin using the Checkbox Method

  • Create an assignment in Canvas. For detailed steps, you may refer to this Canvas guide on creating assignments.
  • As you edit the assignment, in the detailed assignment settings, check the Enable Turnitin Submissions box.
    The Enable Turnitin Submissions checkbox is selected.
  • For more options, click the Advanced Turnitin Settings link.

Viewing Turnitin Results in SpeedGrader

An assignment that is Turnitin enabled will send the student's assignment submission to the Turnitin service so that Turnitin can run an originality report on it. Turnitin will then return the originality score and display it in SpeedGrader as link that can open the full originality report on the Turnitin site. 

For more information, see this Canvas tutorial on viewing Turnitin results in the SpeedGrader


Tutorials on adding Turnitin as an external tool

The checkbox option described above is probably the easiest for simple plagiarism checking. However, Turnitin does have additional features that the checkbox option doesn't support. These include PeerMark (for peer reviewed assignments), Revision Assistant (for helping students check their own grammar and syntax), and Feedback Studio (a SpeedGrader-like environment that also allows for saved quickmarks that incorporate commonly provided feedback). 

If you wish to use the external tool, the tutorials below can help you set it up and use it.


Schedule an appointment with a CIDI team member for help using Turnitin effectively in your course. 

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